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Course Information

Instructor Info:Mary Russo
Office Extension x5618
TA Info:Damon Hastings
Term: 2013S
Meeting Info: Monday Wednesday
02:30 PM - 03:50 PM Emily Dickinson Hall (EDH) 5
02:30 PM - 03:50 PM Emily Dickinson Hall (EDH) 5

Comparative Literature is an exacting discipline that studies literature across boundaries of culture, geography, and language. This course will focus on textual analysis and critical reflection on the important acts of reading and writing, in relation to other disciplines and cultural media like history, politics, film, journalism, and art. Theoretical approaches to interpretation will be stressed. Texts will be in English, although when possible, students will be encouraged to read works and view films in the original. For students with high intermediate or better language skills, a short translation project is possible as a final project.

Course Objectives:


_An understanding of literary study in a transnational frame through close reading of fiction, poetry, and essays in the original and translation

_A familiarity with major currents of theory and interpretation

_An acquaintance with translation as interpretation and cultural contention

_ Development of critical skills through short writing assignments and discussion of literary and cinematic texts

Evaluation Criteria:

Students will be evaluated on participation in class discussions, short writing assignments, and a final project.

More than two absences may result in noevaluation.

Please refer to the College Handbook for the definition of plagiarism and its academic consequences.

Additional Info:

Refer often to Moodle for up-dates and new postings. In addition to on-line readings, books for the course may be purchased at Amherst Books, Main Street, Amherst. These include: Orhan Pamuk, My Name is Red; Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities; ;Emily Bronte, Jane Eyre;Jean Rhys,Wide Sargossa Sea;Salman Rushdie,East/West/Maggie Nelson, Jane: A Murder.


Recommended:  On-line glossary of literary terms;MLA Handbook; Literary Theory: An Anthology ed, Rivkin and Ryan

Further reading: Jorges Luis Borges, Labyrinths;Colm Toibin, Sons and Mothers; Emily Apter, The Translation Zone: New Comparative Literature;Eve Sedgwick, The Epistemology of the Closet; Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture